I think the video on API’s I’ve been watching may be a bit too advanced for my current understanding, so I took a step back and started the code academy course on twitter api’s. So far I’d say it’s much clearer and easier to understand. A lot of what I posted below is almost exactly what the site says, but I’m rewriting it here to help hammer home the concepts for myself.
We use HTTP to grab any page on the internet. These pages are on other computers called servers. I, or anyone else who asks for various resources (like videos, pages, etc) are considered clients. The servers store that info, or at least know where it is located.
So when I, the client, make a HTTP request, it goes through the internet until it finds the server that can fulfill it. The server then sends a response back to me. They stressed that one server can handle many requests from multiple clients at once.
Now, the client/server relationship is a prerequisite of a set of principals called REST – REpresentational State Transfer. HTTP involves sending hypertext, aka text with links. When you navigate through sections of a website by clicking those links, you’re making a state transfer, which brings you to the next page (which represents the next state of the application)
By clicking links and navigating sites, you’re following REST principles. When something follows those REST principles, we say that thing is RESTful.